The History of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences (KNAS) can be traced back to the East African Academy of Scholars (EAAS) formed in 1962 by the East African Scholars based at the then Makerere University College in Uganda. The East African Academy was composed of three branches, one each in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Each branch had its office bearers of Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer and annually reported to the Governing Council of the main Academy through the Executive Committee.

The Headquarters of the EAAS central office was in Kenya housed by the then East African Common Services Organization (EACSO) which later became the East African Community (EAC) from which the EAAS also derived its funds. This dictated that the Secretary of the EAAS had to be a Kenyan. Thus the late Prof. R. J. Olembo became the first Secretary followed subsequently by the late Prof. T. R. Odhiambo, the late Prof. Richard Odingo, the late Prof. J. Mungai and the late Prof. Festo A. Mutere.

The East African Community (EAC) was established as a result of a treaty between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and was a typical example of a Sub- regional organization whose Members were connected through the history of British colonialism. The East African community collapsed in 1977.On the dissolution of the East African Community in July 1977, the Kenya Government through the Office of the President, requested the Kenya Branch of the EAAS which at that time was under the chairmanship of Prof. C. P. M. Khamala to establish a National Academy which would then receive Government funding and free offices. This request was accepted and on 7th December 1977 and the Kenya National Academy for the advancement of Arts and Sciences was created as a Society under the Society’s Act. At the same time Prof. T. R. Odhiambo and a few others established the Kenya National Academy of Sciences under the Company’s Act.

Because of the small Kenyan scientific community, two Academies were found to be rather superfluous and one Academy was found sufficient. In this regard, the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) took the initiative to discuss with the Country’s scientific community to determine the ‘Academy we want’. Consequently the NCST formulated a draft constitution for the creation of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences (KNAS). The NCST then approached the Cabinet with a request to have the establishment of KNAS formally approved by the Government. It was the Cabinets feeling that the Scientific Community itself should take the initiative to create such an Academy. The NCST then invited Curriculum Vitae from across section of scientists who were to be entrusted with the Draft Constitution for the processing to register KNAS under the Auspices of the NCST. At a meeting convened on Thursday, 8th December 1983 by the NCST, 15 Scientists were elected by the scientific community charged with the registration of a new Academy to be known as the Kenya National Academy of Sciences. To facilitate this, the NCST submitted to the group a draft constitution approved by the NCST’s steering committee. The group of 15 held several meetings that culminated in the ratification of the draft Constitution.

The ratified Constitution was submitted to the registrar of societies by an interim Committee of officers composed of the following officers who became to be known as founding Fellows.

Founding Fellows

  • Prof. Thomas R. Odhiambo
  • Prof. Festo Abby Mutere
  • Prof. Simeon Hongo Ominde
  • Prof. Canute P. M. Khamala
  • Prof. Japheth Kimanzi Mati
  • Prof. Samson Gombe
  • Prof. John Ong’ayo Kokwaro
  • Prof. Mohamed Hassan Abdulaziz
  • Prof. Edward George Kasili
  • Prof. Gerald Munene Mugera
  • Prof. Joseph Otieno Malo
  • Prof. Philip Mwangi Githinji
  • Prof. Shem Oyoo Wandiga.
  • Prof. Ambrose Onyango Wasuna
  • Dr. Benjamin E. Kipkorir.
  •  >> View founding members profiles